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the latest from code savvy

Our newsletters highlight a variety of people, organizations, and resources that are doing work to broaden participation and expand equitable and engaging computer science and STEM opportunities. We are honored to work in this space along with so many talented and passionate individuals and want to help bring attention to their work.

This Week’s Spotlight and Project-Inspiration: Black History Month

Spotlight on Black History! This week’s focus is “Current Change Makers”
For the next several weeks, we will shine our spotlight specifically on Black History. We recognize that history is a topic that is largely whitewashed and only told from the perspective of people in power to further certain ideas. Black History Month is an important reminder that there are large parts of history that generally go untold in schools and society, and that should be shared all year long. For the next several weeks, Code Savvy will be focusing on a different aspect of Black History and making connections through stories, experiences, and achievements to computer science.

This week, we want to highlight a current Change Maker. Black History can often be thought of as “long ago” or “way back when,” however we want to also highlight that history is being made today. New technologies are emerging at an ever-increasing rate, and with them arise new challenges to overcome. 
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one emerging technology that is causing some controversy in how it is used. AI can have many benefits such as in the medical industry being able to help predict heart attacks and strokes in patients. AI still needs to be programmed by humans, and bias within the algorithms used could lead to unintended consequences. 
Joy Buolamwini calls herself a “Poet of Code,” and has devoted much of her work to fighting algorithmic bias. Joy serves on the Global Tech Panel, which aims to inform world leaders and technology leaders on the potential harms of AI and ways to reduce them. She has done work with AI used for facial recognition technology, finding that this technology can often be inaccurate based on skin tone, or even the inability to read faces all together. Joy shared a TED Talk around how she is fighting bias in algorithms, including facial recognition.
Joy Buolamwini is just one example of the countless current change makers in Black History. As we focus on, explore, and teach Black History let’s not forget that history is continuing to be written and actions today will have powerful impacts on our future.
If you are interested in learning more about AI, there are many ways to explore further on your own. has projects you can explore to learn more about how AI and facial recognition technology work. Check it out this week, and be sure to share your projects!

Share your CS to Go projects!

How to Share: We invite CS to Go with Code Savvy participants to consider sharing your projects publicly with the Code Savvy and greater #MNCodes community via video with Flipgrid. We can’t wait to see what you create! Please be sure to follow online safety guidelines and get adult permission before sharing. You can find our Privacy Policy here.

Catch Up on Past Weeks’ CS to Go and Bytes of Inspiration Videos

CS to Go and Bytes of Inspiration with Code Savvy are our response to the current health crisis -- Code Savvy’s programs have come together to develop weekly youth- and educator-centered videos that focus on creating new things with computer science. You can find all CS to Go and Bytes of Inspiration videos under Distance Learning on our website!

other happenings

Code Savvy’s MNCodes Educator Training Program

Strategies for Effective and Inclusive CS Teaching
Interested in making your CS courses more equitable and inclusive? Join this free online course to explore inclusive practices in CS, unconscious bias, CS as a tool for social justice, culturally responsive pedagogy, CS for neurodiverse learners, research-based CS instructional practices, and more through a mix of both live sessions and self-paced work. This course is primarily intended for the secondary CS teacher, but the strategies and research addressed are applicable for addressing equity and inclusion in any STEM course.
This course is offered at no-cost and will be led by Vanessa Jones & Andrea Wilson Vazquez, as a part of their involvement as CS for All Teachers Ambassadors.
- Start/End Dates of Course: 02/22/2021 - 04/09/2021
- Kickoff will take place on Monday, February 22, 2021, 5:00-6:00pm CST
- Synchronous meetings will be on Mondays, 5:00-6:00pm CST
Click here for details and feel free to reach out to Andrea with any questions
CS Integration Curriculum Showcase
As part of the MNCodes Cohort, educators are asked to create lessons that integrate computer science with another curricular content area such as literacy, math, science, or others, and align to both CSTA and MN Academic Standards. We will use this space to regularly showcase various curriculum resources that have been created by current or former MNCodes Cohort members.
Coffee + CS Ed Zoom Call
Looking for more ways to connect with other educators interested in CS Ed? Or do you have ideas to share, questions or want to try out a resource in the company of other K12 CS Educators? Check out Coffee + CSEd Chats - every Friday at 8am, CT. Anyone is welcome to join! Details and Zoom info can be found here.

Our winter/spring schedule is now available here. Our next virtual event is February 27th- Register Here. Hope to see many of you there. Sign up for email notices - CodeDojoTC and Rebecca CoderDojo.
Heads Up High School Girls - SPARCing College Success - Illuminating the Path!
The Minnesota Aspirations in Computing/SPARCS program is delighted to offer this virtual learning event for young women in high school.
Leading up to college we all have so many questions: Where do I go, what do I major in, how do I pay for college, how will I make new friends, how will I find internships? We will be talking about these questions and so many more with our panel of STEM college students and young professionals. The evening will be divided into two parts: a classic panel and an opportunity to network with the speakers and fellow high school students. 
Register here! Note:  Registration deadline TODAY, February 17.
Social Justice Hackathon 
The Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence (MNAiC/SPARCS) in partnership with Amazon and the Minnesota Computer Teachers Association is pleased to announce a Social Justice Hackathon for high school students on Saturday, March 13, 2021 from 10am-4:30pm.  All technology skill levels are welcome to participate.
Register here! Note:  Registration deadline March 7.

TechTalent 2021 is right around the corner!
Join mn tech on March 4 for this exciting tech workforce forum. Hear from over 35 tech leaders including featured speakers Tawanna Black, Founder & CEO of Center for Economic Inclusion, Mike McNamara, EVP & CIO of Target, and Greg Cunningham, Sr. EVP & Chief Diversity Officer of U.S. Bank.

  • Get informed on the current state of tech talent in Minnesota.
  • Gain new ideas. This is the place to build allies!
  • Be part of the solution! You’ll take away actionable items to deploy in your workplace.

Register here!


more code savvy


About Code Savvy

Code Savvy empowers youth and educators with the knowledge, skills, and support to create with technology while interrupting and counteracting gender, racial, and socioeconomic gaps in computing. We create opportunities for hands-on computer science learning that inspires learners to transform the future.

Visit our website to learn more 

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